By: Kebba AF Touray
Women vegetable and rice producers in Jeshwang, Abuko, Kololi and Fajikunda among other communities within the KMC, have complained about the various hindrances and the impact this has on them after and their production endeavours. and further complained that animal intrusion into their fields is another setback towards their production.
Women producers gave the above lamentations on the occasion of the Urban Agriculture Field Day, which was held recently.
Organized by the Department of Urban Agriculture under the Agriculture Ministry, the day was meant to have discussion among farmers on the weaknesses and successes of their production, as well as quantify the quality of seed given them by the ROOTS and GIRAV Project.
Mama Jamba, a vegetable gardener at the Bakoteh Women’s Garden, said they are confronted with inadequate water supply, lack of proper fencing and toilet facilities. She appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture; the Kanifing Municipal Council; the Government of the Gambia and the ROOTS and GIRAV projects, to intervene and provide holistic remedies to their challenges.
Mam Sanyang, another producer from the Abuko women gardener and rice producers, cited lack of water as their main production challenge saying this is even more compounded by salt water intursion into their rice fields which negatively impacts on their production aspirations.
Aja Mama Jatta, the president of Fajikunda women gardeners, said animal encroachment seriously affects their production.
“We cultivate all the year round because we want to gain something to cater for our families,” she said.
Alamuta Ndour, another vegetable gardener, complained that crocodiles enter her garden in Jeshwang and appeals for the intervention of the Ministry of Agriculture to address the matter urgently, or else she will kill the marauding reptiles which threatens the lives of all those working in the garden, because they rely on their produce to take care of family needs.
Hawa Ceesay, another woman vegetable and rice producer at the Kololi women’s garden, said they were told to evacuate the field because the area is government reserve land.
“We are now sitting down doing nothing meaning that this year, we will not produce anything. We lodged the complaint to the authorities but they are still paying deaf ears to our cries,” she said. She said they utilise the land for both vegetable and rice production, but this has now been confiscated from them, which she said has rendered them jobless.